So a few years ago I decided more than anything what I needed to get my business going was a hippie van to haul things in of course! And what is a van but a rolling billboard. Of course my actual first pick was a Gypsy wagon . Which I will soon build and hitch a trailer to the van and off I go!
But a friend of mine has a junk yard and things come and go and I ask if they would look for me a van. So low and behold about a month later one came in. I was super excited an couldn't wait to start painting it. I knew it was an old van with lots of miles and would have issues.... and it did. But I didn't care. I worked on it for 3 days straight to beat the rain. I was up in the cold morning with dew still on the van and stopped when I needed a lamp to help me see.
The first day I didn't care. I was burnt to a crisp. The second day I wore long sleeves and a hat and long shorts cause ... who knew how bad sunburned the back of your KNEE could get!?
I got the clear coat on at the end of the day the evening before it rained. As it rained i sat in the house imagining that water beading up on the van and paint staying on. I walked outside and it was just fine!!!! But have to admit I was worried. But at the same time I didn't mind if it had of washed off.
One year at a local festival we had, we painted this huge canvas. Let all the locals take a hand at painting it. It was a hippie Woodstock festival and just like the original day, it rained!!! So canvas got wet and washed the awesome painting away.
Thank God for cellphones cause I took a pic of it before it rained on and so I have the only picture of it. Then it stopped raining and everyone came back and painted some more on the now soaking wet canvas. It would have had to stop raining for days and we would have had to of left that 8ft canvas out in the field to dry. And the way the wildlife is in our neck of the woods..... the deer just would have pooped on it and spray painted graffiti on it and ripped it to pieces. Can't have nice things around here. They are mean!
First thing I did was sand it, and I really didn't try to hard. It was scratched up and had vinyl letters on it I had to get off. I forgot.. I was so excited to be working on my dream that I accidentally cut my thumb really bad. the whole time I painted this van I couldn't bend my right thumb to hold anything really good. Thankfully I am left handed.
The base coat was indoor outdoor house paint! Yep. Nothing felt weirder than standing out in your front yard with a paint roller in your hands and you about to go down the side of a VAN!! Its a little weird at first. Am I crazy? This is how they did it back in the day!!!
I didn't have much of a plan really as I did a desire to get it done. I just started painting and making it up as I went. I knew I wanted to try a few things on the van, like the lace stenciling. I knew I wanted animals on it but which ones and what were they doing I didn't have a clue. The first animal you see if the deer. It was my original Indian name I was given. Deer in the Morning Glories. Sometimes someone else vision for you is all the vision you need to remember who you are!
Cant be a hippie van without a peace sign!
This is the nighttime side. We have the dream catcher moon. Cat sitting on a mushroom, cause.. ya know.... it proportional and if the cat FITS, IT SITS! Fiddle ferns and a weird frog to sing the night away under his lantern. Now the tree is special too. As you can see their are galaxies in the trees. Whole new worlds!!!! And of course at the base of the tree is a door door for the evles to come in and out. Do you see where to put gas in?
This is my sun and beach side. Sadly over the past year the orange and yellow has faded pretty bad. But its all good..... I will just paint it again!
My husband and friend helped on the last day and took the black sharpie and went around the shapes and made little designs. Sharpie works pretty good, but you have to watch the clear coat. It can make it run and its not pretty!
The hood, front bumper and section of the back were done with a piece of lace and some spray paint.
In this picture you can see the pink rim. Each rim is a different color now. Made the van look even better!
I really really love the sun on this side. I personally am not into the beach so much. But I love the bright and cheeriness of this side. That, like I said, has faded a lot. But I can do something with it!
I dont have a pic of the inside, but I spray painted the dash board all bright colors too!
....... and by her approval..... Pussyfoot claimed the van as a her own! She smacked any other cat that dared to climb up it! Or in it for that matter. If we left the windows down or a door open she would hop in. Always had to check where she was before taking off.
The van has been all over Kentucky. Everywhere we go people smile and wave. People have chased me down to take pics of it. I keep buttons in the van with some of the art work and web address on them and pass them out to kids. Old hippies really love it and makes them remember " back in the day".
There are a few people that look at it and shake their heads. But the number of peoples smiles and kids eyes lighting up, even mean old ugly bikers will smile like a dreaming baby when they see me coming. People will take pics and videos as I drive down the interstate. Luckily people will hang far back so they can see all the art, makes it easier for me not to run over them! And I feel like I am getting an escort.
I loaned my hippie van to a friend and I had to explain to him how his behavior in this vehicle had to be different. You get attention! You will quickly find out that you are changing peoples day by them seeing you. So make it a good change! He came back with all these great stories of the interacting with people that you could tell was a blessing to him!
I love my van!